LSU potentially picked up another Lafayette High baseball product Sunday night when Miguel Reyes verbally committed to the Tigers.
Reyes is a 2017 product entering his junior season this year.
“I’m really excited about the opportunity,” Reyes said. “I went on a visit and was really impressed. It’s where I want to be.”
The pitcher and third baseman will follow in the footsteps of Lions’ outfielder Antoine Duplantis who signed with the Tigers this year and will be a freshman at LSU in the fall.
Reyes said the LSU coaching staff first took notice of him last summer when he was playing travel ball for a Marucci squad.
By hitting the ball well and flashing some of his athleticism, Reyes caught the eye of the Tigers coaching staff.
“They liked my versatility, how I can both pitch and play in the field,” Reyes said. “They didn’t say whether they recruited me to pitch or to be a position player; they just want me to play baseball.”
Reyes was impressed with the coaching staff at LSU, and his impression of head coach Paul Mainieri and company played a big role in his decision.
The 6-foot-2, 215 pound Reyes received Honorable Mention odds in football for Lafayette, and has nimble feet for someone of his size.
Reyes said now that he was committed to a school for baseball, he would no longer play football for the Lions.
“It was a tough choice and I know I disappointed some people with the decision,” Reyes said. “But I had to do what was best for me and my family. My mom is very important to me.”
Reyes said he needs to continue to improve his game both physically and mentally to be prepared for the jump to the college level.
On the physical side, Reyes said he needs to get stronger to improve his power at the plate and develop more as a hitter.
But the mental side of the game is where Reyes wants to improve the most.
“I need to have better discipline at the plate and focus more on line drives and waiting for my pitches,” Reyes said. “On the mound I need to work on my location and understanding of counts and situations.”
Reyes had a long time in his sophomore season after being forced to sit out a large portion of the season after violating an LHSAA rule and being ruled ineligible.
“I went and was sitting in the dugout for one of my really good friends’ teams during the (high school) season,” Reyes said. “Toward the end of the game I went up and took a left-handed at-bat, I’m right-handed, just kind of having fun.”
The LHSAA has a rule that during the season high school players are forbidden from competing with any other teams in any form of competition.
“I didn’t even know it was a rule,” Reyes said. “It was really frustrating.”
So Reyes was forced to watch the rest of the season from the sidelines as his teammates advanced to the quarterfinals and lost to eventual state champion Barbe.
Reyes said the experience helped him grow not only as a player, but as a person, and despite the loss of the season it would help him in the long run.
“Just sitting there watching my teammates, it was tough knowing I couldn’t do anything to help,” Reyes said. “I’m young, it was a mistake, but it was something I learned from and it’s not something I ever want to go through again.”